Living with a condition like irritable bowel syndrome can be challenging, frustrating, and tiring. You might feel like your life is on hold. Difficult or embarrassing symptoms and pain can make you feel hopeless. You may worry about whether you can keep your job, see your friends, take care of your family, or even take care of yourself.
You are not alone. Many people live with IBS and lead fulfilling lives. There are resources that offer support and education about your condition. Some resources even offer financial help. Knowing about your condition and your options for care can help you stay in charge of your health.
Managing healthcare costs
Chronic disease is a big problem in the United States. About half of all American adults have a chronic disease. A startling 86 percent of all healthcare costs are linked to managing chronic disease.1
That’s why it’s essential to find ways to manage your condition and keep your healthcare costs down. It is possible to manage both your chronic disease and your healthcare costs.1
Resources for special populations
There are many national and local organizations that provide resources for special populations. These populations include those with chronic conditions, disabilities, mental illness, and more. No matter your needs, there is likely a resource out there to help you.
Examples of resources that are meant for specific groups include:
- The Veterans Health Administration (VA) for veterans
- The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center for the LGBTQ+ community
If you have a chronic disease, you may need to make some adjustments at work. You might need to take more breaks, use a standing desk, or adjust your schedule. But starting this conversation with your boss can be difficult.2
A number of health resources for IBS are available for those who need to navigate work issues. If you are looking for information on how to talk to your boss, how to manage your symptoms at work, or what your rights are, there are organizations that can help.2
How and when to apply for disability
If your symptoms from IBS prevent you from working, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Learning the ins and outs of the application process can be hard, but this overview will give you an idea of what to expect.3
Your health team
Finding all the resources you need can feel like an impossible task. But you do not have to do it alone. Your doctor can give you information about where to find support and resources.
There are also national groups that can help connect you with resources in your area. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website has a searchable database of organizations.
If you are struggling to find resources, ask for help. Talk to your doctor, a friend, or a social worker. They may be able to point you in the right direction. Remember, you are not alone. Help is available.